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The Oncopole, CQDM, Diazon and Mitacs announce the creation of a prize for excellence in memory of Professor Gordon Shore
The Oncopole, CQDM, Diazon and Mitacs announce the creation of a prize for excellence in memory of Professor Gordon Shore

20 November 2018

The Oncopole, CQDM and Diazon with the collaboration of Mitacs, are pleased to announce the creation of the Gordon Shore Prize commemorating Professor Shore’s remarkable accomplishments in the field of cancer research. In doing so, CQDM, Diazon and Oncopole, with the collaboration of Mitacs, will make an initial contribution of $24,000 to the new Gordon Shore Prize to support privileged access for talented new graduates toward their first work experience in the life sciences industry. By participating in the launch of the Gordon Shore Prize, the Oncopole demonstrates its commitment to supporting entrepreneurship training for cancer researchers and students in Quebec.

Gordon Shore was an exceptional scientist who dedicated his career to cancer research. Internationally known for his research on cell survival and apoptosis mechanisms, he was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University and a member of the Rosalind & Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre. Professor Shore was both an outstanding scientist and an accomplished entrepreneur. In 1998, he leveraged his research knowledge and co-founded Gemin X Pharmaceuticals to advance his first novel drug candidate to a successful clinical proof-of-concept for the treatment of small cell lung cancer. In parallel, a second novel compound was identified and in-licensed, advancing from preclinical to clinical stage before the sale of the company in 2011. In 2010, combining his research and commercial development experience, Professor Shore, together with his colleagues Anne Roulston, Jerry Pelletier, William Muller, Nahum Sonenberg and Michel Tremblay, received funding from CQDM and Genome Quebec to build an integrated functional genomic platform. This technology, which exploits genome-wide approaches focused on synthetic lethality and personalized medicine, resulted in the Laboratory for Therapeutic Development. This platform has generated the knowledge and tools that helped Professor Shore to elucidate the clinical path forward for drug candidates. In 2013, Professor Shore co-founded and became the Chief Scientific Officer of Diazon Pharmaceuticals Inc. where, together with his team at the Laboratory for Therapeutic Development, they discovered the mechanism of action of a potent anti-tumour molecule named DZ-2384. This compound This discovery was published in Science Translational Medicine and was instrumental in establishing a clinical strategy for this molecule.

Gordon Shore was not only an exceptional scientist and a successful entrepreneur, he was also a man of honour and passion who was admired by his students and colleagues alike. Sadly, Gordon passed away on September 7, 2018 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.

“Prof. Shore successfully linked academic research and industrial development. Through this prize, Oncopole aims to support the next generation of scientists to take up the mantle and push Quebec to the forefront of cancer research.” says Maxime Dumais, acting director at Oncopole.

In honour of this exceptional individual, the Gordon Shore Prize will be awarded to new graduates whose Master’s or PhD theses demonstrated their excellence in cancer research. The funds will support training in the research industry and will facilitate the transition of new graduates from academia to industry. The recipients will be selected through a Quebec-wide competition launched at the start of 2019. The selection criteria and the type of training will be detailed in the call for applications. The winners will be announced in the Spring of 2019. To receive the call for applications, please contact Naëla Janmamode (njanmamode@cqdm.org).